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OLE error code 0x800704ec: This program is blocked by group policy. Using COM in VFP9

    Question

  • System outline: Server 2008 SP2 x86 running terminal services in a Windows domain.

    I've recently moved my working environment to a new server. I'm coding in Visual Fox Pro 9 on the system described above. I used to work on a Windows 2003 terminal server. Since I have moved to the 2008 server I've been experiencing an issue that has totally stumped me. For some of the programs I'm writing I load up an instance of Excel 2007 via COM. The issue is that randomly I will experience the excel instance failing to initialize with this error message "OLE error code 0x800704ec: This program is blocked by group policy. For more information, contact your system administrator.". The Problem occurs randomly. There seems to be some sort of time factor because if I wait for a bit the problem will cease and my program will work as intended again. I've also had some luck with executing gpupdate but its not a guarantee that it alleviates the error. I do find it strange that I can always run Excel via the windows shell without error as well.

    Steps I've taken thus far are:

    • Examine all group policy items applied to the domain for software restrictions that may be applied. There are none that should affect me.
    • Implement a GPO to set software restrictions for my user to unrestricted.
    • Verify the software restrictions are what is expected in HKLM and HKCU
    • Enabled software restrictions logging. No blocks have been recorded.
    • Run the Visual Fox Pro IDE as administrator
    • Add exceptions for all relevant paths to the software restrictions GPO that affects my user.

    Still after all that I've found no relief. The only sure fire way I've found is to log off then back onto the server. So far that has always fixed the issue until it reoccurs. I've been treating the issue as a Software Restrictions issue thus far but I'm stumped at this point.

    Finally, I'll include a screenshot of the error for reference.

    Error being Displayed

    Update:

    I've found some interesting information. I finally got a hit in the SRP logging that showed Excel being blocked. I looked up the blocking rule via GUID in the HKCU hive. This is where I got stumped again. The blocking rule is an allow rule! Here are screenshots of my research.

    The SRP log that shows Excel being blocked and also allowed.

    The HKCU registry values for the blocking rule

    The SRP rule details contained in group policy

    I don't know what to make of it all, or for that matter how to fix this issue.

    Monday, August 15, 2016 7:01 PM

All replies

  • As you are a software developer, what I'm about say may disturb you...

    Software has defects!   ;)

    Yes, even Windows! ;)

    but seriously, this hotfix (or one of the many released over time) is likely to correct this for you

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/kb/2568041

    Is your server fully patched/updated with all of the current updates? I'd start with those, since corrections for defects land each and every month with Windows...


    Don [doesn't work for MSFT, and they're probably glad about that ;]

    Monday, August 15, 2016 9:32 PM
  • That patch looks like its only applicable to AppLocker. The issue sounds about right but I don't have AppLocker. All we get is the older system, Software Restriction Policies, in the Win 2008 SP2 server. We run WSUS on the network so the server... should... be fully patched. Looks like I'll go digging around to see if there is a hotfix like that for SRP.
    Monday, August 15, 2016 10:53 PM
  • Hi,
    Please check the following hotfix if it works for you:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-sg/kb/873419
    Best regards,
    Wendy

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016 7:29 AM
    Moderator
  • Do you think I run any risk of doing harm to the server by applying a Server 2003 hotfix to Server 2008? The problem described in the hotfix is close but not exact so I'd like to properly weigh the risk reward of applying a hotfix that isn't intended for my OS.

    Thanks,

    Donovan

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016 4:29 PM
  • the update will not install if the metadata within the update determines not-applicable.

    I think it's extremely unlikely that a WS2003 patch would resolve as Applicable on WS2008.


    Don [doesn't work for MSFT, and they're probably glad about that ;]

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016 8:57 PM
  • Hi Donovan,
    The hotfix offered to you is used to check if you have meet the similar issue, if that is the case, I would suggest you take a look at the following article:
    https://community.sophos.com/kb/en-us/121385
    Please Note: Since the web site is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.
    You could have a try the KB2918614 in that article which is applied to windows server 2008 and see if it works.
    Best regards,
    Wendy

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016 9:17 AM
    Moderator